United’s financial muscle may prove too much for Ajax

first_imgManchester United and Ajax will both have a chance to burnish their proud European traditions and finish the season on a high note as they meet in the final of the Europa League in Stockholm on Wednesday.The game pits the financial might and strong defence of a United team that has conceded just seven goals in the competition against a youthful Ajax team that is capable of offensive fireworks, but has struggled away from home.“Many in Holland said it was not possible for a Dutch team to play in the final because the financial difference in Europe between the big clubs and the Dutch clubs is so big now, but we managed it,” Ajax manager Peter Bosz told a media conference over the weekend.Despite their monetary muscle, Jose Mourinho’s side struggled to keep up with the pace-setters in the Premier League and looked sluggish at times in the knockout stages of the Europa League.Having finished outside the top four in England and lost striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic to a serious knee injury, United are now depending on victory at the Friends Arena in Stockholm to get them into next season’s Champions League.Mindful of the risk of injury over the final weeks of the campaign, Mourinho has been careful to rest key players like Paul Pogba ahead of the final.The French midfielder, who cost a reputed €105m when he joined United last summer, was withdrawn just before half-time in United’s final game of the season against Crystal Palace on Sunday.The historic significance of the date will not be lost on Ajax as the final will be played 22 years to the day after their storied 1-0 victory over AC Milan in the 1995 Champions League final.That Ajax team featured Danny Blind, whose son Daley will play for United on Wednesday, and Patrick Kluivert, father of current Ajax winger Justin Kluivert.Ajax were pipped to the Dutch title by bitter rivals Feyenoord, and though they made next season’s Champions League qualifiers, they will be eager to add to their European trophy cabinet.Regularly featuring players in their teens or early twenties, Ajax boast a fantastic array of attacking talent, with Danish striker Kasper Dolberg combining strength, touch and finishing to make him the fulcrum of their attack.But their relative inexperience and poor away record in the tournament would suggest that they may struggle against a disciplined, physical United side that desperately needs a big win to salvage their season.last_img read more

Profound sense of desperation

first_imgGuyana is classified as a democracy, a status that was returned in 1992 following almost three decades of struggles during which many were incarcerated and some tragically paying the ultimate price for freedom of choice. None would have been under any illusion that its safeguarding would be easy.Events since vindicate how it was rigorously tested. Some now opine that it has reached a stage of being under threat. What followed the historic No-confidence Motion, fears of the nation’s democracy being severely endangered may have heightened, ironically by a democratic act of exercising free will.It is now common knowledge that a Member of Parliament of the Alliance For Change (AFC), Charrandas Persaud, voted of his own volition to support the No-confidence Motion brought against the Government he is part of by the Opposition People’s Progressive Party. The configuration in Parliament is 33 Government representatives and 32 for the Opposition. It was therefore elementary that the motion would not succeed unless a Government representative supports it.That is what Charrandas did and the motion was carried. That is how a democracy works as in the United States, where Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate vote across party lines on issues they believe in. It is a common occurrence there and in other developed countries underscoring the basic principle that while some may disagree over how someone votes, that person has a fundamental right to do so. That is the foundation of any democratic society.Here, Charrandas is being publicly vilified and reportedly threatened by those in support of the Government. The very next day the State newspaper called him a Judas. Government and its supporters are adamant that he should not have voted the way he did, thereby betraying them in the process. He was swiftly expelled from the AFC and will also be removed from Parliament through the recall legislation.With the unrelenting attack on Charrandas, it is clear, at least from the Government perspective, he did not have a right to vote the way he did. They even argued in public that it was not a conscience vote but one entrenched in a political mindset. That is a stark contradiction of the Government’s boast of upholding democratic principles since coming to office.If the Government were to believe its own utterances, then an expected action in the wake of assault on Charrandas would be for it to openly and forthrightly condemn those attacks and the actions of the State newspaper in the interest of safeguarding our democracy. The noticeable absence of a condemnation thus far, would only serve to confirm the belief that our freedom of choice is being battered with a signal of it possibly becoming expunged.The situation also exposes the duplicitous act of convenient democracy by the Government; showing support is democratic while dissent is an act of betrayal. This is now beyond the agreement to disagree at that level. While it’s expected that the Government and its supporters will feel disappointed, mature leadership would demand that Charrandas’s choice be respected since his action constitutes a basic tenet of democracy.Similarly, the Government has an obligation to adhere to the Constitution and the process related to the successful passage of the No-confidence Motion. From what has been reported, it appears that the Clerk of the National Assembly has or is in the process of formalising that the motion was successfully and legally carried. Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, to his credit on the said night the motion was passed, said the Government has to accept the vote. The Guyana Bar Association is the latest of many organisations to make known similar sentiments.That brings into question, the preposterous pronouncement by a leading attorney and who was an executive of the AFC, now claiming that the result of the motion is illegal. His mathematical argument that 33 out of 65 is not a majority is not only illogical and laughable but bewildering to students.Here again is another example of convenience, this time convenience of objection. He never made the same mathematical argument when the Government held a one-seat parliamentary majority while in Opposition and used the said 33-22 to cut the budget and scuttle funding for transformation projects under the Donald Ramotar Administration. The Amaila Falls Hydro Project and the Specialty Hospital readily come to mind and which by now would have been completed bringing much needed relief to Guyanese.Whatever reason of self-interest may be driving such baseless mathematical principles, again the Government has an obligation to follow the Constitution and, more so, to debunk such attempts to clutch at straws not only in the interest on democracy, but for the upholding of the law and social cohesion, again, ironically, the Ministry of which it established.Up to this point, instead of reiterating that the motion has been carried, the Government appointed a sub-committee to consider the argument that 33 is not the majority. That suggests that the Government is looking for solace any way it can. In doing so, it is demonstrating a profound sense of desperation in mathematical principles that have been conveniently distorted.last_img read more

Absence of male teachers

first_imgThe current situation regarding males in education is significant enough to warrant a strategic, long-term intervention.  For over a decade, there has been clear evidence that the boys in our schools are not having an equal experience to that of girls.  More importantly — as studies have unearthed — the issue goes well beyond a mere question of competence, interest in, or value for, education.There are at play deep socio-cultural and other factors that indicate the need for a multifaceted approach towards addressing the issue. The potential consequences of ignoring the problem are dire, and the red flags are numerous, demanding that something be done at the soonest.  The issue is affecting the entire Caribbean, and as such, there are some lessons from sister territories that could inform the approaches adopted.One dimension — and arguably one of the most significant contributors to the problem — is the absence of male teachers in the system. The exodus of males from the teaching profession would have been chronicled over the last three decades.  The process unfolded gradually, and, over time, it appears that the system simply adjusted to the changes. There has not been any intervention to target the absence of male teachers in the system.Initially, economics was considered the major push factor at play.  The question of whether this remains the primary consideration has merit, and studies are now examining why males are not opting for teaching as a career.Regardless of the causes, there has to be a well-thought-out solution, since the issue has now hit crisis proportions. The most recent data from the Ministry of Education show that there are 7,909 female teachers in the system, as compared to a mere 1,314 males. Of these, only 404, less than one third, are at the key formative primary level. As one might expect, there are only five male teachers at the nursery level, and the remainder are scattered across the higher levels of the education system.Research has indicated that this acute imbalance impacts the quality of the educational experiences boys are having. It is important to mention here that female teachers view the behaviour of boys much differently from male teachers.  The research indicates that female teachers consider boys at the primary level to be highly disruptive and uninterested in education; whereas girls, on the other hand, are viewed as settled, model pupils.  An extension of this is that boys are more often penalised for their behaviours, which in turn impacts their academic experiences.As early as grade four, there are decisions made regarding the academic potential of boys that have little basis in competence indices, but more to do with their behaviours.Where male teachers are present, there is likely to be a greater understanding and appreciation of the key biological differences which affect the perception of boys as behavioural issues, resulting in more balanced approaches in addressing the needs of boys in schools.   In studies across the world, boys have reported that their male teachers encourage them more, and have a greater impact on their confidence levels as pupils.This issue has implications well beyond the academic experiences boys are having, however, and speaks to the very nature of their socialisation. Schools are critical socialising institutions, and the absence of male role models in schools must impact the extent to which boys receive critical social cues regarding their gender identity and their expected roles.Hunte, since 2002, has lamented the fact that the absence of male teachers further compounds the problem of the education of the ‘emotions of boys’.  This forces boys to seek such guidance from alternative external sources that oftentimes are not as wholesome.  Research has also shown that boys feel more comfortable speaking to male teachers about issues they are having both at home and at school. As Hunte states, “Women, however talented, cannot be substitutes for men, because they do not know or have experienced the emotions of men”.It must be noted here that boys are not the only ones to benefit greatly from the presence of male teachers. Girls also need solid male role models to provide balance in their socialisation.   In addition, to the extent that schools are a microcosm of the society, they should fully reflect the diversity and prevailing cultural dynamics found in the wider society. There is an overabundance of accounts of the ‘feminisation’ of schooling, brought about in large part by the absence of male teachers in the profession. Both female and male inputs are vital to the effective delivery of education.The work environment is greatly enhanced by the presence of male teachers providing balance in perspectives and approaches. Traditionally, males have championed the use of technology and the importance of sports and other extracurricular activities in schools. Their absence has left key voids that need to be addressed.A strategic approach has to be developed to attract and retain males in the teaching profession. Such a plan has got to go well beyond the issue of salaries, and hone in on the factors that would make teaching a more attractive career option to males. Scholarship opportunities, incentive packages, and accelerated career options are only a few approaches adopted by other education systems to attract more males.Where plans have worked, equal consideration was given to dimensions of the working conditions that would also ensure that, once recruited, males enjoy the degree of job satisfaction that would ensure their retention, and serve to encourage others to join the profession.Attention must be paid to the elements that would make teaching a more ‘male-friendly’ professional pursuit, and that would ensure the long-term success of the intervention.  It will require an openness to innovative approaches that are culturally and contextually relevant, given the diversity of our country. This has deep implications for the overall status of teaching within the society, and would ultimately benefit all teachers, male and female, and by extension the nation at large.last_img read more

Blues title bid ‘Punch-eoned’ by Saints

first_img0Shares0000LONDON, England, January 17 – Rafael Benitez blamed Chelsea’s defensive problems for their failure to beat struggling Southampton and admitted skipper John Terry remains a major doubt for the weekend clash with Arsenal.Chelsea allowed a two-goal first half lead to slip as visitors Southampton battled back for a 2-2 draw that left the European champions 13 points adrift of Premier League leaders Manchester United and all but extinguished their domestic title hopes this season.Interim Chelsea manager Benitez said the Blues must improve quickly if they are to claim three points when London rivals Arsenal visit Stamford Bridge. “We cannot be happy drawing at home,” said Benitez. “We have to defend as a team, as a unit, a bit better,” the Spaniard added.“It’s something we have to improve. It’s a question of experience.“No, I’m not angry,” the former Liverpool manager said. “I’m disappointed.“We know the problems we have when the other team are well organised. We have to sustain attacks, keep the ball, and that’s not something we did today (Wednesday).”Chelsea led through Demba Ba and Eden Hazard but Southampton, for whom the draw moved them three points clear of the relegation zone, recovered through Rickie Lambert and Jason Puncheon.Benitez has been on the end of taunts from Chelsea supporters ever since replacing sacked fans’ favourite Roberto di Matteo in November.And he admitted the hostile atmosphere at Stamford Bridge was beginning to affect his players.The return of Terry would provide Chelsea with a major lift, particularly after the home supporters had again voiced their frustration.But the centre-back, who was on the bench against Southampton, is not yet fully recovered from a knee problem.“He’s not match fit to play 90 minutes,” said Benitez. “He needs to play some minutes. We’ll see how he trains. It will be difficult.“He needs games and minutes, but at the right time. It was easier the other day. Today (Wednesday) wasn’t the game.“To change the player, when you have to play high, with a player with no match fitness, it would be a risk. I will try not to take a risk. I will try and do my best and make the right team selection.”Wednesday’s draw came on the same day as former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola, billionaire Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich’s long-time target for the manager’s job at Stamford Bridge, joined German giants Bayern Munich — the team the Blues beat in last season’s Champions League final.However, Benitez would not be drawn on what that meant for his prospects of extending his stay at Chelsea beyond the end of the season.“It’s fine for him (Guardiola),” said Benitez. “He deserves to go there. No, it’s not a surprise.”The interim manager also insisted Fernando Torres would be unaffected after once again being booed by Chelsea supporters after appearing as an 80th minute replacement for Frank Lampard.“Torres is a professional, he’s concentrated and will try and do his best,” said Benitez.Meanwhile Southampton manager Nigel Adkins believed this result showed how the south coast club were on the rise.“It’s two defeats in 12 games, both one-nils, and it shows we’re improving,” Adkins said. “I just said ‘stick to the game-plan’.“We could have chased it, played two up, and it could have been like Aston Villa here when they were done by eight (goals).“We believed the plan was the right thing to do, so we stuck at it. Not many teams will come back from 2-0 down against Chelsea.“There’s a continual growing belief and maturity about the players. They’re becoming accustomed to playing at this level now. We concentrate one game at a time. Let’s stay in the here and now and work hard.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Only 800 twin bears left in LDB Christmas Charity Program

first_imgWith outstanding community support – unmatched anywhere else in the province – the local branch has been the provincial sales champion now for eight consecutive years, and this year, store Manager Warren Mears and his staff, are bidding for a ninth consecutive sellout.”We have 4,800 bears: 2,400 to sell to customers and 2,400 to give out to the community. We were getting phone calls before the campaign even started this year wanting bears, so there’s a huge demand for them. Normally if we sell out, we usually give about 3,000 bears plus. Out of the 2,400 that customers buy, about 600 of them get donated back approximately to the community.” There are about half a dozen local charity groups waiting to receive and distribute the bears and others are invited to get involved by calling 250-787-3405.- Advertisement – However, this year another sellout has become anything, but a sure thing, as the local outlet still had about 800 bears in stock this morning, and the sales deadline, is 6:00 p.m. Saturday night.last_img read more

Pedaling for the planet

first_imgMyGo’s program is backed by Weststart/Calstart, a Pasadena-based nonprofit that promotes greener transportation. MyGo offers $500 toward an electric bike and up to $30 per month to members who agree to ride their bikes to the Metro Gold Line at least two days a week. Whitney Pitkanen, MyGo project manager, said the program has 26 members who already own a bike and ride it to the light-rail station, and 150 others are interested. Once a biker signs an agreement on MyGo’s Web page, mygo-pasadena.com, he or she can take it to a participating dealer and get a new electric bike. Riders must pedal to start the bikes, but with some momentum they can twist the throttle and cruise up to 18 miles per hour. Pedaling can add extra speed. PASADENA – To Leslie Stotlar, who teaches environmental science at Marshall Fundamental High School, the offer of $500 toward buying an electric bicycle was an offer too good to pass up. The 33-year-old mother of three pledges to ride her teal Giant Suede-E electric bike everywhere she goes this month as a participant in a local nonprofit’s effort to subsidize bike ownership and get people out of their cars during daily commutes. Subsidized by MyGo Pasadena, Stotlar bought her $1,000 bike for $500 three months ago, and now that she’s racked up nearly 50 miles she says she’s sold. “With my e-bike I fear no hill,” Stotlar joked, after pedaling her 2-year-old daughter on a trailer to look at prospective preschools. Craig Renwick of Pasadena, who works at 20th Century Fox, starts riding his bike at 6:30 a.m. to the Del Mar station and ends up at Fox Studios in Century City about 90 minutes later. Renwick said it takes him about the same time to drive to work in a car. Taking the train allows him to read the morning paper and exercise as he covers the remaining eight miles to work, he said. “Riding the streets of L.A. on a bicycle is a dangerous proposition,” Renwick said. Still, he said he won’t give up and even purchased an air-horn to warn less bicycle-conscious motorists. Pitkanen said the only other similar electric bike program in the country is in Santa Cruz, and acknowledges biking to work can take commitment. “It does take a leap of faith to get out of the car,” she said. She said the program, which started in March 2006, is offering a number of new incentives to get people to take that leap. One improvement is the addition of eight shared-key bike lockers at Metro stations, free to MyGo members. In the coming weeks the program will add two new bikes to its vehicles; a $750 Curry Technology folding bike and a high-powered electric scooter from EnVironmental Motors in Glendale. Renwick said he’s been trying to get people in his company to get involved in the program, especially since News Corporation and 20th Century Fox announced they would try to be carbon neutral by 2010. “I’ve pestered them,” he said. “I think we could form a bicycle revolution.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Burnley 2-0 Watford: Hornets beaten as Hendrick nets on first Turf Moor start

first_img Jeff Hendrick: The Republic of Ireland midfielder opened the scoring for Burnley Summer signing Jeff Hendrick headed home his first Burnley goal as they beat Watford 2-0 at Turf Moor.A £10.5million signing from Derby, the Republic of Ireland international was making his third appearance when he converted Steven Defour’s corner shortly before the break.Michael Keane then doubled their lead five minutes into the second half when he met Belgium international Defour’s pinpoint cross.Defour has now scored one and set up three of Burnley’s five goals this season, and here provided the kind of spark that was visibly lacking from the visitors, who suffered a sharp comedown having turned over Manchester United last time out.For the Clarets it was a welcome second win of the campaign, following their surprise defeat of Liverpool, while the visitors may wish to write off their trip to Lancashire as a bad road trip.They were passengers in the first period, allowing Burnley’s industrious midfield to over-run them.Walter Mazzarri tinkered with his 3-5-2 formation early on, reverting to a back four with Valon Behrami picking up the extra defensive duties.Hendrick and Johann Berg Gudmundsson were the likeliest threats, the Irishman always lurking in the space behind Sam Vokes while the Icelander served notice with a couple of tempting crosses.The away end looked to lift things by launching a “Troy Deeney for England” chant but their captain was feeding on scraps.He had only one real opportunity and was denied at the near post by Three Lions squad man Tom Heaton.Half-time was beckoning when Dean Marney intercepted a stray Gudmundsson shot and nicked a corner, allowing Defour to take aim from the right.The Belgian aimed for Hendrick, who outmuscled Holebas to force his header over the line.Watford seemed to think Defour’s cross had drifted out on its way into the box but there was no reprieve.The only recriminations about Burnley’s second, five minutes after the restart, were aimed at defenders rather than officials.After another Defour corner had come back to him the midfielder crossed again, with Watford this time allowing Keane to climb above them and direct the ball home.Burnley’s desire was laudable but they were up against the most benign defence imaginable.Defour attempted to add a goal to his pair of assists on the hour, working Gomes from 20 yards – an effort the Brazilian could only beat away in self-defence.Watford did little more than hint at a comeback, Isaac Success sliding a shot across goal after burrowing in on the left and Behrami volleying wide. 1last_img read more

WATCH: Lee Trundle scores cheeky penalty in Swansea All Stars charity match

first_img Watch Lee Trundle’s penalty below… Lee Trundle built a reputation as one of the most talented players in the Football League during his career, appearing on showboat reels on a weekly basis.And even though he is now 40-years-old, the forward is still doing outrageous things on a football pitch.The Llanelli Town star was playing in a charity match for the Swansea All Stars, and he proved why he was once the Swans’ most fearsome goalscorer.He netted six goals in an 11-4 win, including the incredibly cheeky penalty you can see below… 1center_img @LeeTrundle10 that was naughty mate 😍 pic.twitter.com/OnG4G6AeX1— Jordan (@JordanWebber96) December 4, 2016last_img read more

Nations League draw: England to face Spain and Croatia in new UEFA competition

first_img The new UEFA Nations League will effectively replace international friendlies 1 England have been drawn to play Spain and Croatia in Group Four of League A in the UEFA Nations League.Wales, under new manager Ryan Giggs, will face Republic of Ireland and Denmark in League B Group Four.Northern Ireland are in Group Three of League B, and will play Austria and Bosnia-Herzegovina.Scotland, who have are still without a new manager, will play in League C and were drawn into a three-team Group One.Elsewhere, world champions Germany meet France and Holland in League A Group One, while Euro 2016 winners Portugal face Italy and Poland in Group Three of the top division.The competition’s format will see four leagues of A, B, C and D, split into four groups of three or four teams, which will replace the majority of friendlies and feature promotion and relegation.The UEFA competition is designed to allow teams to play against those who are similarly ranked – and will offer some who do not qualify for Euro 2020 via the normal route a path to the play-offs.The Nations League competition will see semi-finals, the final and a third-placed game, held between June 5-9, 2019.The 16 Nations League group winners will go into play-offs for Euro 2020, to be played in March 2020. If they have already qualified for the European Championship the next best-ranked team in their league will take their place in the play-offs.Each league has a path of its own, and will consist of two single leg semi-finals and a one-off final.The winner of each path qualifies for Euro 2020.At the end of the group stages of the Nations League, those who finish bottom of the groups will be relegated to the league below and four teams will be promoted to the league above.last_img read more

STRANORLAR ELECTORAL AREA HIT AGAIN AS WATER RESTRICTIONS KICK IN

first_imgTHE Stranorlar electoral area continues with water restrictions tonight, the County Council has announced.Their statement is posted here:STRANORLAR ELECTORAL AREA Water supplies will be restricted in the following areas from 6:00pm until 8:00am ConvoyCastlefinRaphoeLiffordBallinacorTievebrackGleneelyBallybofey and Stranorlar – supply will also be turned off to the Twin Towns from midnight until 8.00am each nightSTRANORLAR ELECTORAL AREA HIT AGAIN AS WATER RESTRICTIONS KICK IN was last modified: January 5th, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more